Child Custody Attorney in Spring, Texas
When couples with children go through a divorce, the process can be incredibly emotional. It’s natural for both spouses—and their children—to quickly become overwhelmed.
Having experienced a child custody battle of her own, Attorney Robin Scott is an unwavering advocate for clients in Spring, Texas, and in Harris, Montgomery, and Fort Bend counties as they face some of the most important decisions in their lives. You don’t have to go through this process alone. If custody of your children will be part of your potential or pending divorce, or if you want to know if you can modify an existing child custody arrangement, contact Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC as soon as you can.
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What Are the Child Custody
Arrangement Options in Texas?
Your options for a child custody arrangement in Texas come down to three general scenarios: You and the other parent agree to terms of conservatorship, possession and access, child support and medical child support, or you may agree in mediation with an attorney/mediator or you may have the judge make the decision.
There are many details to address in a child custody agreement. They range from who has primary physical custody of the children to which parent they spend their Wednesday nights with—in other words, parenting plans and possession schedules. If you and the other parent can agree on all the details, you may submit a proposed Order to the court for approval. There is no need to air any proverbial dirty laundry in court, and the decisions are made mutually and without a battle.
This option can take the least amount of time and money. However, there are still reasons for you to consult with a family law attorney in forging the agreement. Your attorney knows every detail that must be included in an order for conservatorship, possession and access, child support and medical child support. Moreover, your attorney will be your advocate, protecting your best interests. This can be particularly helpful if the other parent is even slightly more aggressive or assertive than you are. Your attorney will also draft all documents necessary to finalize your case.
If, after negotiations and mediation you and the other parent still cannot agree to terms for an agreed Order, then your attorney will prepare you and your stance/position for a trial to the judge of the court to whom your case is assigned. Preparing will include both showing your strengths and defending your weaknesses against allegations that may have been made by the other parent. At the end of a trial, the judge will decide the terms of conservatorship, possession and access, child support and medical child support.
Custody & Conservatorship in Texas
Texas law uses the term “conservatorship” to refer to child custody. The managing conservatorship involves who makes decisions about such matters as the child’s education, where they live, medical treatment, and participation in events and activities.
The court may award joint managing conservatorship or sole managing conservatorship. In a joint managing conservatorship, parents confer on these types of decisions. In the event only one parent is awarded managing conservatorship, only that parent makes the decisions. Sole managing conservatorships are typically only awarded if one parent does not want decision-making responsibility if one parent demonstrates a history of violence, substance abuse, or a lack of prior involvement in the child’s life, educational, medical, or moral views.
What Does the Court Consider in Awarding Child Custody?
The court’s primary consideration in awarding child custody is driven by the best interests of the child. Those best interests are served by multiple factors, the most important of which is the best interests of the child, but which may also include:
The ability of each parent to parent the child;
The plans each parent holds for the child;
The structure and stability of each parent’s home; and,
Any evidence that a parent is not suited to be a responsible parent
Can a Child Custody Order Be Modified in Texas?
Conservatorship arrangements are court orders, which means only the court may modify them once issued. Again, the court uses the child’s best interests in the consideration of any modification of an existing order.
A modification may be based on any of three key issues:
The "primary" conservator has voluntarily allowed the child to live with the other conservator for six months or more
There has been a substantial material or “significant” change in the life of the child or either of the conservators. Some examples are the remarriage of a conservator, a pending move, lack of co-parenting between conservators that did not exist at the time of the original order, failure to exercise court-ordered periods of possession, mistreatment of the child, substance or alcohol abuse that was not an issue when the original order was rendered or other important life-altering events that may allow the court to modify the prior order and the parenting plan.
A child aged 12 or older expresses a desire to the judge to live with the other conservator (which is not automatic or conclusive but something a judge may consider)
Child Custody Attorney in Spring, Texas
If you are a parent considering divorce, if you have been served with a petition for divorce, or if you or the other parent wants to modify an existing child custody order, Robin Scott can help. She is proud to work with parents like you in Spring, Texas and surrounding communities face the challenges of Texas child conservatorship. Contact Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation.